HUNTSVILLE, Ala.(WHNT)-Officials are still trying to figure out who flew a fleet of helicopters that were allegedly hovering over and illuminating homes in Lincoln County, Tennessee, but the incident is now on the radar of leaders south of the state line.
No one has yet to claim responsibility for the flights that originated from the Madison County Executive Airport in Meridianville last week. 911 lines in neighboring Lincoln County were swamped with calls of mysterious helicopters shining lights on homes and property, with sightings being reported from the north end of the county to the state line (http://whnt.com/2014/02/19/lincoln-county-residents-say-military-choppers-hovered-lit-up-homes/).
Madison County Commissioners heard concerns about the helicopter flights at Wednesday’s meeting, but Chairman Dale Strong told WHNT News 19 that the county has no real oversight of the airport and only appoints its board members. However, Strong did say that his office is in contact with the airport about what happened.
“We’re trying to see if we can determine what caused this situation that has raised an uproar,” said Strong. “If someone is using a 5 million Candlepower light and shining it on folks’ houses, we want to stop that. That’s our objective. Not to stop aircraft or helicopters from flying in Madison County. It’s to stop someone from illuminating a house in the middle of the night.”
A spokesperson at the Madison County Executive Airport told WHNT News 19 last week that a fleet of Lakota Army helicopters were in the area participating in a National Guard drill. But the Alabama Air National Guard refuted that statement the following day, saying the helicopters were not associated with the Guard. Redstone Arsenal also said they had no connection with the choppers.
One man who lives near the aiport told commissioners that no one may ever know the source of the flight due to a loophole.
“They [MCE Airport] couldn’t tell us anything about where they [helicopters] went or where they came back from because there’s a loophole that the helicopters don’t have to give a flight path plan. They don’t have to report it.”
WHNT News 19 did reach out to the Madison County Executive Airport again on Wednesday, but our request for comment went unanswered. The airport also did not respond to multiple messages we left last week.